Antitrust regulators in the EU yesterday (11 July) agreed to concessions offered by T-Mobile Czech Republic, O2 Czech Republic and O2 sister company Czech telecoms infrastructure provider CETIN concerning a network infrastructure sharing deal between the companies, allowing it to end its investigation. Back in 2019 the European Commission accused the Czech operators of limiting competition via the network sharing agreement they had inked in 2011. In October last year, meanwhile, the Deutsche Telekom-controlled and PPF Group-owned units set out amendments to the sharing agreement after receiving feedback from rivals and end users, prompting the EU’s favourable response.
Commenting on the matter, Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: ‘The Commission made binding commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN and O2 CZ that will keep the benefits of network sharing whilst removing technical and financial disincentives to unilateral deployments and limiting information exchange, all to the benefit of Czech mobile user’.
In an effort to allay concerns, the Czech operators have offered to modernise the mobile network by building multi-standard RAN equipment in ‘certain radio frequency layers, alongside ensuring provided investments or services have cost-based pricing’. These final commitments will now remain in force until 28 October 2033.